Wacom tablet

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Wacom does not officially support Linux. Linux support is provided by the Linux Wacom Project. Supported devices are listed on the Device IDs page with a version number in the input-wacom column.

Installation

The Arch Linux kernels include the input-wacom driver.

Ensure your kernel recognizes your tablet. Connect your tablet via USB or Bluetooth. It should show up in dmesg | grep -i wacom and be listed in /proc/bus/input/devices (and if you use USB in the lsusb output). If it does not, your only chance is that your tablet is supported by a more recent driver than the one in your kernel. In that case install the input-wacom-dkmsAUR package.

Install the X driver, xf86-input-wacom, and restart X so the new udev rules take effect.

The command xsetwacom list devices should now list some devices. If it does not, see #Manual setup.

The kcm-wacomtablet package provides a KDE graphical user interface for tablet configuration and supports tablet-specific profiles and hotplugging.

Configuration

The Xorg driver can be temporarily configured with xsetwacom, see xsetwacom(1). Changes are lost after X server restarts or replugging your tablet.

List the available devices:

$ xsetwacom list devices
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Finger touch	id: 12	type: TOUCH
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Finger pad	id: 13	type: PAD       
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Pen stylus	id: 17	type: STYLUS    
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Pen eraser	id: 18	type: ERASER

For the get and set commands, devices can be specified by name or id. Scripts should use names because ids can change after X server restarts or replugging.

Permanent configuration

Note: Because xorg.conf lacks options xsetwacom has and only lets you map buttons to mouse buttons, you may want to autostart a script with xsetwacom commands instead of using xorg.conf.

Configuration can be made persistent in xorg.conf and xorg.conf(5).

You firstly need to find out your product names:

$ grep "Using input driver 'wacom'" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
[ 25059.351] (II) Using input driver 'wacom' for 'Wacom Intuos BT M Pen'
[ 25059.409] (II) Using input driver 'wacom' for 'Wacom Intuos BT M Pad'
[ 25059.428] (II) Using input driver 'wacom' for 'Wacom Intuos BT M Pen eraser'
[ 25059.429] (II) Using input driver 'wacom' for 'Wacom Intuos BT M Pen cursor'

For these product names the sections would be:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/72-wacom-options.conf
Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "WACOM OPTIONS pen"
	MatchDriver "wacom"
	MatchProduct "Pen"
	NoMatchProduct "eraser"
	NoMatchProduct "cursor"
EndSection

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "WACOM OPTIONS pad"
	MatchDriver "wacom"
	MatchProduct "Pad"
EndSection

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "WACOM OPTIONS eraser"
	MatchDriver "wacom"
	MatchProduct "eraser"
EndSection

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "WACOM OPTIONS cursor"
	MatchDriver "wacom"
	MatchProduct "cursor"
EndSection
  • The options described in wacom(4) can be added to sections.
  • The product name needs to contain the MatchProduct value in order for a section to match. Matching of parent devices requires negative matching.
  • The Identifier can be arbitrary and is printed into the Xorg log when the section matches. Giving your identifiers a common prefix lets you easily grep for what sections were matched:
    grep "WACOM OPT" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
  • Configuration changes require a X server restart to take effect.
Note: xorg.conf options can differ from xsetwacom options.

xsetwacom can try to print all current settings of a device in xorg.conf format with:

$ xsetwacom get device all

Remapping buttons

The X driver lets you remap the buttons on tablets and pens. Buttons are identified by numbers. Tablet buttons start at 1, pen buttons start at 2 (1 is the tip contact event). By default the X driver maps button M to mouse button M. Because X uses buttons 4-7 as the four scrolling directions, physical buttons 4 and higher are mapped to mouse buttons 8 and higher by default. While xorg.conf uses the actual button numbers and only lets you map to mouse buttons, xsetwacom uses the translated mouse button numbers and allows mapping to multiple keycodes (but not keysyms).

If you have not yet remapped your buttons you can easily identify their ids with xorg-xev, by running the following command, placing the mouse cursor on the created window and pressing a button:

$ xev -event button
Outer window is 0x1a00001, inner window is 0x1a00002

ButtonPress event, serial 25, synthetic NO, window 0x1a00001,
    root 0x2a0, subw 0x0, time 3390669, (404,422), root:(1047,444),
    state 0x0, button 8, same_screen YES

In this case the button number for xsetwacom is 8 and the actual button number for xorg.conf is 4.

Alternatively, if you want an overview of your tablet's button layout you can look at your tablet's layout SVG. Firstly, find out the filename with a recursive grep search for the tablet name reported by xsetwacom list devices:

$ grep -rl 'Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5' /usr/share/libwacom/*.tablet
/usr/share/libwacom/bamboo-16fg-s-t.tablet

In this case the respective layout SVG is /usr/share/libwacom/layouts/bamboo-16fg-s-t.svg. The letters in the SVG correspond to the button numbers: A=1, B=2, C=3, ...

Mapping pad buttons to function keys

If you want to bind your tablet buttons to different shortcuts in different applications, you may want to map your tablet buttons to function keys because applications generally do not let you bind keyboard shortcuts to mouse buttons.

Firstly, map the pad buttons to mouse buttons 11 and higher so that you can distinguish them from regular mouse buttons. For example:

xsetwacom set pad Button 1 11
xsetwacom set pad Button 2 12
...

Then map the mouse buttons to the function keys. This can be done with xbindkeys and xdotool by adding an entry like the following for every pad to your ~/.xbindkeysrc:

"xdotool key F21"
  b:11

"xdotool key F22"
  b:12
...

The syntax

The syntax of xsetwacom is flexible but not very well documented. The general mapping syntax (extracted from the source code) for xsetwacom 0.17.0 is the following.

 KEYWORD [ARGS...] [KEYWORD [ARGS...] ...]
 
 KEYWORD + ARGS:
   key [+,-]KEY [[+,-]KEY ...]  where +:key down, -:key up, no prefix:down and up
   button BUTTON [BUTTON ...]   (1=left,2=middle,3=right mouse button, 4/5 scroll mouse wheel)
   modetoggle                   toggle absolute/relative tablet mode 
   displaytoggle                toggle cursor movement among all displays which include individual screens
                                plus the whole desktop for the selected tool if it is not a pad.
                                When the tool is a pad, the function applies to all tools that are asssociated
                                with the tablet
 
 BUTTON: button ID as integer number
 
 KEY: MODIFIER, SPECIALKEY or ASCIIKEY
 MODIFIER: (each can be prefix with an l or an r for the left/right modifier (no prefix = left)
    ctrl=ctl=control, meta, alt, shift, super, hyper
 SPECIALKEY: f1-f35, esc=Esc, up,down,left,right, backspace=Backspace, tab, PgUp,PgDn
 ASCIIKEY: (usual characters the key produces, e.g. a,b,c,1,2,3 etc.)

Some examples

 $ xsetwacom set pad Button 1 3 # right mouse button
 $ xsetwacom set pad Button 1 "key +ctrl z -ctrl"
 $ xsetwacom get pad Button 1
 key +Control_L +z -z -Control_L
 $ xsetwacom set pad Button 1 "key +shift button 1 key -shift"

Even little macros are possible:

 $ xsetwacom set pad Button 1 "key +shift h -shift e l l o"
Note: If you try to run a script with xsetwacom commands from a udev rule, you might find that it will not work, as the Wacom input devices will not be ready at the time. A workaround is to add sleep 1 at the beginning of your script.

Execute custom commands

Tango-edit-clear.pngThis article or section needs language, wiki syntax or style improvements. See Help:Style for reference.Tango-edit-clear.png

Reason: Duplicates Xbindkeys. There are alternatives to xbindkeys. (Discuss in Talk:Wacom tablet#)

Mapping custom commands to the buttons is a little bit tricky but actually very simple. First, install xbindkeys.

To get well defined button codes add the following to your permanent configuration file, e.g. /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/52-wacom-options.conf in the InputClass section of your pad device. Map the tablet's buttons to some unused button ids.

 # Setting up buttons (preferably choose the correct button order, so the topmost key is mapped to 10 and so on)
 Option "Button1" "10"
 Option "Button2" "11"
 Option "Button3" "12"
 Option "Button4" "13"

Then restart your Xorg server and verify the buttons using xev or xbindkeys -mk.

Now set up your xbindkeys configuration, if you do not already have one you might want to create a default configuration

 $ xbindkeys --defaults > ~/.xbindkeysrc

Then add your custom key mapping to ~/.xbindkeysrc, for example

 "firefox"
     m:0x10 + b:10   (mouse)
 "xterm"
     m:0x10 + b:11   (mouse)
 "xdotool key ctrl-z"
     m:0x10 + b:12   (mouse)
 "send-notify Test "No need for escaping the quotes""
     m:0x10 + b:13   (mouse)

Adjusting aspect ratios

Drawing areas of tablets are generally more square than the usual widescreen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, leading to a slight vertical compression of your input. To resolve such an aspect ratio mismatch you need to compromise by either reducing the drawing area height (called Force Proportions on Windows) or reducing the screen area width. The former wastes drawing area and the latter prevents you from reaching the right edge of your screen with your Stylus. It is probably still a compromise worth to be made because it prevents your strokes from being skewed.

Find out your tablet's resolution by running:

$ xsetwacom get stylus Area

Reducing the drawing area height

Run:

$ xsetwacom set stylus Area 0 0 tablet_width height

where height is tablet_width * screen_height / screen_width.

The tablet resolution can be reset back to the default using:

$ xsetwacom set stylus ResetArea

Reducing the screen area width

Run:

$ xsetwacom set stylus MapToOutput WIDTHxSCREEN_HEIGHT+0+0

where WIDTH is screen_height * tablet_width / tablet_height.

LEDs

See the sysfs-driver-wacom documentation. To make changes without requiring root permissions you will likely want to create a udev rule like so:

/etc/udev/rules.d/99-wacom.rules
# Give the users group permissions to set Wacom device LEDs.
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="hid", DRIVERS=="wacom", RUN+="/usr/bin/sh -c 'chown :users /sys/%p/wacom_led/*'"

Setting the Intuos OLEDs can be done using i4oledAUR from the AUR.

TwinView setup

If you are going to use two monitors the aspect ratio while using the tablet might feel unnatural. In order to fix this you need to add:

Option "TwinView" "horizontal"

to all of your Wacom-InputDevice entries in the xorg.conf file. You may read more about that here.[dead link 2018-09-05]

Temporary TwinView setup

For temporary mapping of a Wacom device to a single display while preserving the aspect ratio, this script may be used. This will letter-box the surface area of the device as required to ensure the input is not stretched on the display. This script may be executed in your .xinitrc file for it to automatically run.

xrandr setup

Tango-edit-clear.pngThis article or section needs language, wiki syntax or style improvements. See Help:Style for reference.Tango-edit-clear.png

Reason: Wording can be improved, personal writing style. (Discuss in Talk:Wacom tablet#)

xrandr sets two monitors as one big screen, mapping the tablet to the whole virtual screen and deforming aspect ratio. For a solution see this thread: Arch Linux forum.

If you just want to map the tablet to one of your screens, first find out what the screens are called:

$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 3840 x 1080, maximum 16384 x 16384
HDMI-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DVI-0 connected 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 477mm x 268mm
  1920x1080      60.0*+
  1680x1050      60.0  
  ...
VGA-0 connected 1920x1080+1920+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 477mm x 268mm
  1920x1080      60.0*+
  1680x1050      60.0  
  ...

Then you need to know what is the ID of your tablet.

$ xsetwacom list devices
WALTOP International Corp. Slim Tablet stylus   id: 12  type: STYLUS

In my case I want to map the tablet (ID: 12) to the screen on the right, which is VGA-0. I can do that with this command

$ xsetwacom set 12 MapToOutput VGA-0

This should work immediately, no root necessary.

Should this fail when using the NVIDIA binary driver, using HEAD-0, HEAD-1 and so on to refer to the monitors may work.

If xsetwacom replies with "Unable to find an output ..." an X11 geometry string of the form WIDTHxHEIGHT+X+Y can be specified instead of the screen identifier. In this example

$ xsetwacom set 12 MapToOutput 1920x1080+1920+0

should also map the tablet to the screen on the right.

Alternatively, you can use this bash script to quickly map the tablet to one of your screens (or the entire desktop) and fix the aspect ratio.

In case xsetwacom does not work, you can try xinput.

First, you need to find your tablet's ID.

$ xinput list

In my case, the output is:

⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Intuos PT S 2 Finger                id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Intuos PT S 2 Pad                   id=12   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ USB Keyboard                              id=14   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad                id=16   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint                     id=17   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SteelSeries Kinzu V2 Gaming Mouse         id=9    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Wacom Intuos PT S 2 Pen Pen (0x6281780c)  id=20   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                 id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                              id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Wacom Intuos PT S 2 Pen                   id=10   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ USB Keyboard                              id=13   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=15   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ ThinkPad Extra Buttons                    id=18   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ USB Keyboard                              id=19   [slave  keyboard (3)]

This mean, my tablet's ID is 20. Now we map it with VGA-0 screen:

$ xinput map-to-output 20 VGA-0

Pressure curve

Use the Wacom Pressure Curve and Threshold Graph to find P1=red (eg. 50,0) and P2=purple (eg. 100,80) of your desired curve. The x-axis is the input pressure you apply to the pen; the y-axis is the output pressure the application is given.

You can change the pressure curve with:

$ xsetwacom set stylus PressureCurve x1 y1 x2 y2

Application-specific configuration

Blender

To enable pad buttons and extra pen buttons in Blender, you can create a xsetwacom wrapper to temporarily remap buttons for your blender session.

Provided example (for Bamboo fun) adapted to Sculpt mode: blender_sculpt.sh[dead link 2018-06-23]

It remaps:

  • Left tablet buttons to Shift and Ctrl (pan/tilt/zoom/smooth/invert)
  • Right tablet buttons to F (brush size/strenght) and Ctrl-z (undo)
  • Top pen button ton m (mask control)

GIMP

To enable proper usage, and pressure sensitive painting in GIMP, just go to Edit > Input Devices. Now for each of your eraser, stylus, and cursor devices, set the mode to Screen, and remember to save.

  • Please take note that if present, the pad device should be kept disabled as I do not think GIMP supports such things. Alternatively, to use such features of your tablet you should map them to keyboard commands with a program such as Wacom ExpressKeys.
  • You should also take note that the tool selected for the stylus is independent to that of the eraser. This can actually be quite handy, as you can have the eraser set to be used as any tool you like.

For more information checkout the Setting up GIMP section of GIMP Talk - Community - Install Guide: Getting Wacom Drawing Tablets To Work In Gimp.

If the above was not enough, you may want to try setting up the tablet's stylus (and eraser) as a second mouse pointer (separating it from your mouse) by using the xinput create-master and xinput reattach commands. It can help when GIMP does not start painting even if the stylus touches the tablet.

Inkscape

Pressure sensitivity in Inkscape is enabled the same way as in GIMP. Go to Edit > Input Devices.... Now for each of your eraser, stylus, and cursor devices, set the mode to Screen, and remember to save.

Krita

If your tablet does not draw in Krita (clicks/pressure are not registered) but works in the brush selection dialog which has a small test area, try putting Krita in full-screen or canvas-only mode.

Krita only requires that Qt is able to use your tablet to function properly. If your tablet is not working in Krita, then make sure to check it is working in Qt first. The effect of tablet pressure can then be tweaked in the painttop configuration, for example by selecting opacity, then selecting pressure from the drop down and adjusting the curve to your preference.

VirtualBox

First, make sure that your tablet works well under Arch. Then, download and install the last driver from Wacom website on the guest OS. Shutdown the virtual machine, go to Settings > USB. Select Add Filter From Device and select your tablet (e.g. WACOM CTE-440-U V4.0-3 [0403]). Select Edit Filter, and change the last item Remote to Any.

Troubleshooting

Newer tablets' drivers might not be in the kernel yet, and additional manipulations might be needed. A notable example is the newer Intuos line of tablets (Draw/Comic/Photo).

Unknown device_type

If your tablet does not get recognized by xsetwacom and dmesg complains about an unknown device_type, then you need to install a patched version of input-wacom.

Download and install the for-4.4 branch from SourceForge. Your device should be recognized after you run

 # rmmod wacom
 # insmod /lib/modules/YOUR_KERNEL/kernel/drivers/hid/wacom.ko.gz

Tablet recognized but xsetwacom and similar tools do not display it

Your logs indicate that the correct driver is selected, and the tablet works. However, when running xsetwacom list devices or use similar tools that depend on the correct driver, you get an empty list.

A reason might be the execution order of your xorg configuration. /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d gets executed first, then /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d. The package xf86-input-wacom contains the file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/70-wacom.conf. If there is a catchall for tablets, executed after this file, the previously selected wacom driver will be overwritten with a generic one that does not work with xsetwacom et. al.

To make sure, check the rules contained in the files executed after /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/70-wacom.conf for anything that looks like graphics tablets.

Manual setup

A manual configuration is done in /etc/X11/xorg.conf or in a separate file in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ directory. The Wacom tablet device is accessed using a input event interface in /dev/input/ which is provided by the kernel driver. The interface number event?? is likely to change when unplugging and replugging into the same or especially a different USB port. Therefore it is wise to not refer to the device using its concrete event?? interface (static configuration) but by letting udev dynamically create a symbolic link to the correct event file (dynamic configuration).

Dynamic with udev

Note: In AUR there is wacom-udev package, which includes udev-rules-file. You might skip this part and move on to the xorg.conf configuration if you are using the wacom-udev package from AUR.

Assuming udev is already installed you simply need to install wacom-udevAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] from the AUR.

USB-devices

After (re-)plugging in your USB-tablet (or at least after rebooting) some symbolic links should appear in /dev/input referring to your tablet device.

 $ ls /dev/input/wacom* 
 /dev/input/wacom  /dev/input/wacom-stylus  /dev/input/wacom-touch

If not, your device is likely to be not yet included in the udev configuration from wacom-udev which resides in /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/10-wacom.rules. It is a good idea to copy the file e.g. to 10-my-wacom.rules before modifying it, else it might be reverted by a package upgrade.

Add your device to the file by duplicating some line of another device and adapting idVendor,idProduct and the symlink name to your device. The two id's can be determined using

$ lsusb | grep -i wacom
Bus 002 Device 007: ID 056a:0062 Wacom Co., Ltd

In this example idVendor is 056a and idProduct 0062. In case you have device with touch (e.g. Bamboo Pen&Touch) you might need to add a second line for the touch input interface. For details check the linuxwacom wiki Fixed device files with udev.

Save the file and reload udev's configuration profile using the command udevadm control --reload-rules Check again the content of /dev/input to make sure that the wacom symlinks appeared. Note that you may need to plug-in the tablet again for the device to appear.

The files of further interest for the Xorg configuration are /dev/input/wacom and for a touch-device also /dev/input/wacom_touch.

Serial devices

The wacom-udevAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] should also include support for serial devices. Users of serial tablets might be also interested in the inputattach tool from linuxconsole package. The inputattach command allows to bind serial device into /dev/input tree, for example with:

 # inputattach --w8001 /dev/ttyS0

See man inputattach for help about available options. As for USB devices one should end up with a file /dev/input/wacom and proceed with the Xorg configuration.

Static setup

Usually it is recommended to rely on Xorg's auto-detection or to use a dynamic setup. However for an internal tablet device one might consider a static Xorg setup in case autodetection does not work. A static Xorg setup is usually not able to recognize your Wacom tablet when it is connected to a different USB port or even after unplugging and replugging it into the same port, and as such it should be considered as deprecated.

If you insist in using a static setup just refer to your tablet in the Xorg configuration in the next section using the correct /dev/input/event?? files as one can find out by looking into /proc/bus/input/devices.

Xorg configuration

In either case, dynamic or static setup you got now one or two files in /dev/input/ which refer to the correct input event devices of your tablet. All that is left to do is add the relevant information to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, or a dedicated file under /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/. The exact configuration depends on your tablet's features of course. xsetwacom list devices might give helpful information on what InputDevice sections are needed for your tablet.

An example configuration for a Volito2 might look like this

Section "InputDevice"
    Driver        "wacom"
    Identifier    "stylus"
    Option        "Device"       "/dev/input/wacom"   # or the corresponding event?? for a static setup
    Option        "Type"         "stylus"
    Option        "USB"          "on"                 # USB ONLY
    Option        "Mode"         "Relative"           # other option: "Absolute"
    Option        "Vendor"       "WACOM"
    Option        "tilt"         "on"  # add this if your tablet supports tilt
    Option        "Threshold"    "5"   # the official linuxwacom howto advises this line
EndSection
Section "InputDevice"
    Driver        "wacom"
    Identifier    "eraser"
    Option        "Device"       "/dev/input/wacom"   # or the corresponding event?? for a static setup
    Option        "Type"         "eraser"
    Option        "USB"          "on"                  # USB ONLY
    Option        "Mode"         "Relative"            # other option: "Absolute"
    Option        "Vendor"       "WACOM"
    Option        "tilt"         "on"  # add this if your tablet supports tilt
    Option        "Threshold"    "5"   # the official linuxwacom howto advises this line
EndSection
Section "InputDevice"
    Driver        "wacom"
    Identifier    "cursor"
    Option        "Device"       "/dev/input/wacom"   # or the corresponding event?? for a static setup
    Option        "Type"         "cursor"
    Option        "USB"          "on"                  # USB ONLY
    Option        "Mode"         "Relative"            # other option: "Absolute"
    Option        "Vendor"       "WACOM"
EndSection

Make sure that you also change the path ("Device") to your mouse, as it will be /dev/input/mouse_udev now.

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Mouse1"
    Driver      "mouse"
    Option      "CorePointer"
    Option      "Device"             "/dev/input/mouse_udev"
    Option      "SendCoreEvents"     "true"
    Option      "Protocol"           "IMPS/2"
    Option      "ZAxisMapping"       "4 5"
    Option      "Buttons"            "5"
EndSection

Add this to the ServerLayout section

InputDevice "cursor" "SendCoreEvents" 
InputDevice "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"

And finally make sure to update the identifier of your mouse in the ServerLayout section – as mine went from

InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"

to

InputDevice    "Mouse1" "CorePointer"

See also